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JU Students Continue Protest, Say Will Not Relent Until 'Undemocratic' Law is Struck Down

Jadavpur University students are protesting against certain provisions of the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill-2017' which will enable the government to have the power to prescribe rules and procedures for conducting students' body or union election.

Prema Rajaram | CNN-News18

Updated:August 11, 2017, 6:29 PM IST
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JU Students Continue Protest, Say Will Not Relent Until 'Undemocratic' Law is Struck Down
File photo of Students protesting outside Jadavpur University. Representative image. (GETTY IMAGES)
Kolkata: More than a day after they started a sit-in outside the vice-chancellor’s office, students of Jadavpur University on Friday evening said they won’t relent until a new law curbing powers of students unions is struck down.

They maintained a gherao around the Vice Chancellor’s office, saying that while they will not prevent him from leaving, but will have to talk to them.

The protest is against certain provisions of the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill-2017 which will enable the government to have the power to prescribe rules and procedures for conducting students' body or union election.

On Thursday, a student deputation was sent to get assurances that their demands would be met at a time while an Executive Council meeting was in progress. They demanded the JU EC adopt a resolution describing the government's step as 'undemocratic' and 'unacceptable'.

Students claim the state government’s decision to do away with student union elections is a way of stifling voices of dissent on campus and exclude their views on policy making. These include decisions like fee hike and cutbacks in fellowships and scholarships.

“There has never been a history of violence during student union elections or corruption. Therefore, Jadavpur University does not need a student council. This council would mean zero representation of the students and their voices in policy making which will lead to corruption, nepotism and oppression on the students,” Shravan Guha, a JU student, told CNN-News18.

However, JU VC Suranjan Das said, “This protest is undemocratic. I don’t know why they are targeting me, it is not my decision. However I will pass on their message to the State Government.”

State education minister Partha Chatterjee also appealed to students to lift the gherao.
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